Why Deafness in Dogs Shouldn’t be a Death Sentence!

Ok, so deafness is labeled as a “disability” but that does not mean deaf dogs can’t be amazing, loving pets!

Sadly, many breeders and rescue organizations don’t want the “hassle”, or it de-values the pup concerned, or it’s too hard to find someone willing to adopt such a “disadvantaged” dog. Consequently, putting them to sleep seems the easiest option.  

The truth is that, apart from the obvious problem of being deaf, you can expect these furry friends to act in a similar way to any other hearing dog.

The biggest misconceptions about deaf dogs is that they are(1) more likely to be aggressive than a hearing dog because they’re easily startled and (2) they are “hard to train”. However, they are, in reality, 20% less likely to be aggressive and they are a dream to train because they are not distracted by other dogs or noises and therefore more focused on their trainer.

Having said that, adopting a deaf dog is not for everyone. However much a person loves dogs, it takes a huge personal daily commitment to train, socialize and gain the trust of your deaf canine companion. On top of that, extra safety measures are required to keep them safe, both in and outside the home.

There are clearly a few challenges that you will need to overcome, which we will discuss in this article…but suffice to say it’s well worth wthe effort.

Level of Deafness

If your furry friend has a hearing problem then it does not mean that they are totally deaf. Just like us humans, hearing can deteriorate with age. Or, it could be that they are only ableto hear specific frequencies.

Not all dog deafness is permanent and untreatable. It may be possible to resolve the problem to a certain extent or the problem could be a temporary one. The first step will be to identify an underlying cause for the deafness, then the possibility of treatment is considered.

A pooch can suffer from a number of different temporary hearing problems. A lot of dogs get infections in their ears which cause temporary loss or degradation of hearing. Others can suffer from mechanical blockages due to wax in the ear canal.

On a more serious note, a dog experiencing extreme constant noise levels can sometimes suffer from permanent hearing loss. In cases like this there is permanent damage to the middle and inner ear nerve impulses.

Several breeds of dog can suffer from congenital defects which cause hearing loss. When this happens there is nothing that you can do to prevent it. However, if a dog is born deaf then they can’t miss what they’ve never had, so training is often easier than with an older dog that has to change their training method.

Simple Ways to Detect Dog Deafness

If you suspect that your furry friend may be experiencing a hearing loss problem (e.g. they don’t react to the doorbell or dash into the kitchen when they hear food being put in their bowl) then there are some simple things that you can do as an initial test.

With all of these techniques you must be certain that your pooch is unable to see what you are doing so that there are no visual clues. Just sound is what you want to achieve.

Stand behind your pooch and then whistle or clap your hands and note the reaction. When you are doing this be sure that you are not too close to your furry friend as they may be able to detect air movement.
Conduct an easy sound test such as rattling a can with coins in it or jingling your keys.
Go to another room and make noise using a drum or barrel and see if your dog reacts to this.
It is possible that your pooch has a hearing loss problem in just one ear so if you suspect this then you will need to wait for your dog to be in the right position to run the tests.

Be careful to monitor your pooch for the slightest change in ear position or facial expression to signify that they have heard you.

Keep your Veterinarian in the Loop

If you suspect a hearing loss problem then please take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible for an assessment. They will probably run a BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) test to confirm everything. A BAER test monitors electrical activity in the brain auditory pathways and the inner ear. Getting it checked out early could prevent a more serious ear infection and un-reversable hearing loss.

How to Teach an old/deaf Pooch New Tricks

If your dog is deaf then there is no reason why they will not be (or continue to be) a wonderful and loving companion for you. But you will need to accept that modifying behavior and training are going to be quite a challenge as auditory cues normally play a large part in this.

You now need to shift away from auditory commands and focus on visual commands. Instead of saying “good boy” or “good girl” when your pooch behaves as you want them to you can give them a “thumbs up” instead. If your furry friend does something that you don’t like then shake your head rather than saying “no”.

Use a heavy stomp of the foot on the floor when you need to get your dog’s attention – they can often feel the vibration in the floor.

To avoid startling your dog, gently tap or pet him to announce your entrance or exit from the room.

This will take time and you need to be consistent. If you are going to use a “thumbs up” to confirm good behavior then always use this. The same goes for all of the other signals that you use instead of saying “no”, “down”, “come” and so on.

Protecting Your Deaf Dog

It would be devastating if your furry best friend was knocked down by a vehicle, simply because they couldn’t hear the engine or warning horn, so keep an eye on them and do not let them roam unsupervised. Keep them within the confines of a fenced off area and only let them go outside of this boundary if they are on a leash.

If your pooch is able to hear some frequencies then a dog whistle could work well. You can try using a shrill whistle and then rewarding them if they respond to it. Get a microchip implant for your dog and add a tag that clearly identifies them as being deaf on ALL their collars.

You could also consider adding a bell to their collar so you can quickly establish where they are in the house, especially if you need to leave in an emergency, or if they manage to escape.

It’s clear that deaf dogs require a lot of patience, support, love and understanding and as this is ‘Deaf Dog Awareness Week’, we just wanted to recognize all the dedicated deaf-dog owners, who by-the-way seem to agree that their effort is repaid 10-fold by the devotion they receive from their canine companions.

For more deaf dog training ideas, check out the top tips provided by experienced deaf dog owners at https://deafdogsrock.com/category/training-tips

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

Help Take the Strain and Pain off Your Old Dog’s Joints

Just like humans, as our dogs get older, they get to the point where the mind is willing but the body isn’t quite as able! 

Not surprisingly it’s the joints that take the brunt of it, as they have to support the body 24/7, whether at work, play or relaxing. I know that our glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM based supplement for dogs helps alleviate the pain and increases the flexibility in damaged or arthritic joints.

However, there are other things that I have implemented to help take the strain off my old faithful’s joints and prevent painful accidents that could worsen his condition. I thought you might find it useful too…

If you’ve got an ageing pooch suffering with stiffness or arthritis too, or one that has previously undergone surgery for broken bones or torn ligaments, please check out the top tips below and see if you can help stop your furry best friend suffering in silence.

 

Top Tips to Help Ease Your Dog’s Painful Joints

• Provide a cushioned bed and position away from drafts

Most dogs sleep 12 hours a day.  Ease your pet’s pain by adding extra fleece or blankets to their bed, and be sure to keep their bed away from windows and other drafty locations.

Exercise for shorter periods but at regular intervals

Exercise is so important to break the vicious circle of joint decay.Pain reduces mobility, which leads to muscle wastage and weakening of the surrounding ligaments and tendons; the joints then become less stable, leading to more wear & tear, more joint decay and more pain.Exercise is therefore essential to keep the muscle tone necessary to support the joints, prevent the decay from worsening and lessen their pain.

Keep your Fido active but take care not to over exert!

Apply a warm water bottle for 15 minutes twice a day

This relaxes the muscles and also promotes blood circulation for faster healing. You can easily tuck one under their blanket when they go to rest after exercise and believe me, dogs love this comfort just as much as us humans!

Help them with obstacles and heights

So they can continue to enjoy their exercise and woodland walks, why not treat them to a harness coat with a strong handle
so you can help them out of water, lift them over obstacles like fallen trees, in and out of vehicles and up steps, without putting pressure on painful joints. Also, attaching the leash to the harness provides more control, helps to stop them pulling and relieves strain on their neck. Another great bonus is the harness will also help keep them dry, warm and promote good blood circulation at the same time! 

Jumping up onto porches or even into the car trunk can be even more difficult and painful, as they put more weight on their hind legs. For larger dogs, lifting them up may not be an option if they are too heavy for you (or you may be suffering from aching joints yourself!) In this case a ramp is an ideal solution to provide a gradient they can manage and help you at the same time.

Provide traction on slippery floors

Dogs, especially those with hip dysplasia, often have a hard time on slippery floors, such as vinyl, polished wood, tile or laminate, so lay carpet down or put a pet gate to keep them out of the area.
If your dog doesn’t travel in a crate, then you can install carpet or a non-slip liner on the back seat or cargo area of larger vehicles, SUVs, station wagons and vans, to provide better stability for your 4-legged friend and prevent them from being thrown around when you’re on the move.

Keep your dog out of damp, chilly weather

It’s not actually the cold and wet that causes the problem but fluid pressure within the joint. It’s the drop in atmospheric pressure that allows the joint tissues to swell, causing stiffness and discomfort. It’s not always possible to walk your dog at the most favorable times of the day, so just make sure they are kept warm or maybe consider indoor alternatives.

Hydrotherapy

Swimming allows the natural movement of muscles and joints in a buoyant environment and helps to build muscle around diseased joints, which in turn relieves the pressure on them when walking or running. The water’s warmer too so blood vessels can do their job properly, supplying healing nutrients to muscles and skin. It certainly helped my dog’s recovery from a cruciate ligament operation and it’s also a fun way to help a slightly porky pooch lose weight!

Important
: Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s suitability for hydrotherapy, just in case there’s a valid reason why they should not swim.

Massage

Massage the muscles around your dog’s hip joints, gently rubbing in a circular motion with your fingertips for ten minutes at the most. BUT pay attention to your companion’s response – If massage seems to irritate your dog’s hip, don’t continue.

Healthy Balanced Diet

Weight control is very important as extra weight puts more stress on the joints. A FidoActive supplement nugget can be given as a healthy treat instead of their normal titbits, so your best friend won’t think they’re in the ‘dog house’!

Positioning of feeding stations

Dog arthritis can be prevalent in any major joint; if your dog has shoulder or neck pain, raise up their water and food dishes so they don’t have to bend over.

Regular Check-ups

Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian – not all conditions are visible to the eye in the early stages and you could save your best friend a lot of unnecessary pain.

I hope you find some of these tips help you to manage your dog’s pain and help them enjoy a happier and more active life.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

For more information about FidoActive and our all-natural supplements visit www.fidoactive.com or visit Amazon

 

 

 

 

FidoActive donates a portion of sales revenue to charitable organisations in the USA for animal rescue and rehoming. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, which goes towards helping these incredibly worthy causes too.

Are You Selling Your Pooch Short When It Comes To Their Health?

Veterinarians agree, the main reason for dog health issues come from the modern pet diet. Processed dog foods and antibiotics are stripping your dog’s digestive and immune system of the vital good bacteria and the natural enzymes they need to maintain true lasting health.

That’s where probiotics play a key role in getting (and keeping!) your dog in tip top condition.

WHY IS A PROBIOTIC POWDER BETTER THAN PROBIOTIC PET FOOD, TREATS OR LIQUID?

Here’s the thing, many probiotics on the market are in the form of treats, liquids or food. That’s normally fine for other types of supplements but NOT probiotics, as the efficacy is provided by “live” bacteria, which is normally killed in the manufacturing process(and hence why they are known by the term “unstable” probiotics).

Furthermore, a dry, “stabilized” powder probiotic does not require refrigeration and will not react the same way to exposure as an unstable probiotic, so it’s easy for storing and perfect for travelling. Simply add it to their wet or dry food or even mix in their water.

FidoActive Advanced Probiotics for Dogs was specifically developed as a dry probiotic supplement powder that contains 8 stabilized strains of live bacteria. The probiotics are grown fresh and independently tested for purity and authenticity. They are top-grade, dog-specific strains which have been approved by the FDA and AAFCO as DFMs (Direct Fed Microbials).

Fidoactive also include a prebiotic, inulin, which is essential for the maximum efficacy of probiotics in your dog’s system, PLUS a natural de-wormer, organic calcium and 74 minerals, so you definitely get more bang for your buck! And with no odor or flavor, even the pickiest pooches get the goodness they need!

Why not check out our best value for money offers on Amazon and see the start of a healthy, happy life for your furry best friend!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01CU565LK/

You can also check out more information about us and our all-natural supplements on our website www.fidoactive.com

Wishing you and your canine companions an active life – always!

 

 

 

Helen & the FidoActive Team

IS YOUR POOCH PARTIAL TO GRAZING ON GRASS?

WHY IS THAT?

It might be a bit worrying if you’re a first-time dog owner and your new canine companion starts eating grass, especially when they vomit afterwards – BUT rest assured this is a very common behavior.

There are many theories as to why they do it:

1. Boredom – normally seen in puppies or young dogs (but let’s face it they have a habit of chewing everything!)

2. Some sort of deficiency in diet – grass is not eaten for any specific nutritional value (and it doesn’t explain why dogs on well balanced diets eat it too). However, it’s thought that it potentially may provide some additional form of roughage lacking in their normal diet.

3. Remedy for upset stomach – Dogs are not able to digest grass, so many do vomit after eating eat. However, there are plenty of occasions where my canine grass munchers show no other signs of gastric problems before or after eating it. I think they just like the taste – and it seems especially inviting when it has refreshing morning dew on it!

4. Many dogs just love eating and would like to eat more than they are actually fed (even though their body doesn’t need it!) – my old golden was proof positive of that! But apparently, it’s not necessarily the sign of a glutton, just that they like the actual process of eating, so tucking into a lush patch of grass is like having a snack in between their normal meals.

5. Interestingly, studies of wild dogs have also shown them eating grass, so, as far as most experts are concerned, it is inherently natural behavior for domestic dogs.

As wild dogs depend on good hunting skills to survive and feed their families, it’s believed that grass eating may actually help conceal their scent, in the same way rolling in their prey’s excrement or foul offal is thought to.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?

1. At the end of the day, dogs are omnivores and have the capability to obtain the nutrients they need from both plant and animal origin.

Grass does not seem to harm dogs BUT you need to be careful if they are eating grass in an area that is sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, which can be toxic to your furry friend. If you think they may have ingested anything toxic, call your veterinarian or ASPCA immediately.

 

2. If your pal is constantly eating grass and being sick, then you need to remember that the act of being sick also brings up bile acid from the stomach. This acid can ultimately cause internal ulcers, which are invisible to us. So, if your dog has been doing this for a long time, it may be worth getting your veterinarian to check for existing or developing ulcers.

 

3. If there is excessive vomiting, vomiting not associated with grass eating, or other accompanying symptoms of illness, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, lack of energy – get your best friend checked over by your veterinarian.

 

4. Research shows that dogs will eat indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry or if their nutrition is poor, so this must always be a consideration.

a. Veterinarians agree, many dog health issues are caused by processed dog foods and antibiotics are stripping your dog’s digestive and immune system of the vital good bacteria and the natural enzymes they need to maintain true lasting health. That’s where your furry best friend may benefit from a daily dose of probiotics (with prebiotic) to ensure their body is absorbing the nutrients from their food and restore good digestive health and immune system.

b. Also, if you are preparing homemade food, it may be useful to consult a professional to make sure the nutritional balance is correct for the size and breed of your canine companion.

 

5. While grass is not harmful, it may be among other plants that are toxic to dogs, which they then eat it by accident. Check out the ASPCA list at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

 

IMPORTANT

So, in conclusion, if your dog is chewing grass, this is normal doggie behavior. Please just be aware of the potential concerns above and if you think your pal may have ingested poison in the form of a plant or liquid in the process call Animal Poison Control on (888) 426-4435 or your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

Better to have Loved and Lost than Never to have Known the Love of a Dog

This Sunday, June 11th, is World Pet Memorial Day and it’s true, dogs do leave pawprints on our heart.

Many of you may be like me and have always had pets as part of the family. It is a sad fact of life that we usually outlive them and the pain of losing them is so unbearable, you feel that you couldn’t possibly go through that emotional wrangle again.

I certainly felt like that but, after I allowed myself time to grieve my first canine companion, I realized how many other dogs were waiting for a loving home – one which I could easily (and happily) provide. I also realized that all dogs are unique, with their own little characters, so it was never a case of simply ‘replacing’ my beloved Barney with another dog, it was a means to fill the gap in my heart and bring happiness back into my life, that I have to say, only a dog can!

It’s days like this that also remind us to just stop for a moment and appreciate what we have now, BEFORE it’s lost. So why not spend the day spoiling your pets and making some special new memories with your furry family?

If you love dogs (or any other type of animal for that matter) but are unable to have one of your own at the moment, for whatever reason, then why not just bring a little joy to a ‘forgotten’ animal at your local rescue shelter. This could be either becoming a volunteer dog-walker, giving them a cozy blanket or toy or making a donation in memory of a pet you have loved and lost.

One thing’s for certain the benefit will be mutual…and you may eventually find room for another furry love in your life.

Hope you all have a great Sunday to remember!

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team